Rangers Dump Celtic Out Of The Cup… Time For Celtic To Dump Deila!

17 Sound of Celtic

The better team on the day won out at Hampden, as Rangers saw off Glasgow rivals Celtic in a penalty shoot-out and now the Gers will play Hibs in the Scottish Cup final in May.

The blue half of Glasgow won most of the key battles on the park as they showed more heart, desire and had the greater amount of possession and used the ball well!

For large parts of the game Celtic looked sluggish and second best. That will be very hard to take for Hoops fans considering their sides lead in Scotland’s top tier, while today’s victors are still in the Championship.

Last season when the two sides met in the League Cup semi, Celtic dominated and looked a good few classes above Rangers.

But fast forward a year and the gap has dramatically decreased, to the point no one would have thought Celtic were a full league superior than their opponents.

Celtic are a team in decline and a lot of that responsibility falls at the managers door.

Ronny Deila almost lost this game before a ball was kicked. He failed to pile on the pressure on new Gers boss Mark Warburton.

In the week leading up to the game the Norwegian came across as nervous, weak and naive. That made things easier for Warburton.

When Ronny arrived in Glasgow in the summer of 2014 and stated that his squad would become fitter and stronger. We heard of news stories about him banning certain foods and doing certain training sessions.

But today Rangers looked far fitter. So what has happened to Deila’s fitness regime? His side cost more than Rangers, have more experience and yet look laboured and past it.

Captain Scott Brown was a shadow of his former self and lost the midfield battle to Andy Halliday. Stefan Johansen was player of the year last term but he’s hardly kicked a ball this season. Too many players have gone back the way and seem to be hiding.

Deila’s teams also seem to fail to find a game plan or┬ácohesion. That is abundantly to anyone who has watched Celtic in Europe this season.

Yes they managed to peg back Rangers twice but they never truly dominated the game or showed that they can be a good footballing side. That will gaul Celtic supporters.

The fact is Rangers weren’t even at their strongest and Celtic on paper have a much better squad will infuriate the faithful too.

Now maybe Deila will say bad luck cost his Celtic side and that it wasn’t their day. But those aren’t justifiable excuses in an Old Firm game, especially when the other side plays better and with more heart.

Special mention needs to be given to young left-back Kieran Tierney. The eighteen year old was a star and gave his all. If every Celtic player had played with his passion and composure then they’d have won that game.

A few of Deila’s team selections puzzled me too.

For instance why didn’t Erik Sviatchenko start the game? Even before his injury Dedryck Boyata looked woeful and out of his depth and that has happened a few times this season. Whereas the Danish international has looked more settled since his winter arrival. Now the injury concerns couldn’t have been that great when you consider he eventually played for more than ninety minutes.

Sviatchenko was immense when he came on. Obviously he scored and was a danger from set-pieces but he also won most of his challenges and aerial battles. Celtic were much stronger with him at the back and most of the fans would have told you that before the game!

Then there was the fact that Kris Commons was never used. Commons is a big game player and thrives against Rangers, yet he stayed on the bench. As I stated earlier, Johansen has constantly struggled this term, yet he seems untouchable as does Brown.

The Celtic boss also seems to struggle to get the best out of his attacking players such as Gary Mackay-Steven, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong. There are good players in there, the manager is tasked to get the the best out of them.

This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the situation of Celtic losing narrowly to Rangers on a penalty shootout. That game once again just emphasises how things have declined at Parkhead.

I stated after the exits in Europe and after the many slip-ups in the Premiership that Celtic needed to let Deila go in the summer.

But do the board listen to the fans and dump the Norwegian or do they give everyone else in Scotland’s top flight a chance by keeping Deila in charge?

The truth is no one knows because the board are a huge reason for their sides decline? If they do replace Ronny Deila, then it will only be done to save their own necks!

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